Building Ho Chi Minh’s cultural space in a new way of indoctrination by city leaders?

Ho Chi Minh statue in front of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee building

Zing online newspaper on October 15 published an interview with Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan, Politburo member and Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee, said it would take the honor of the only locality named late President Ho Chi Minh became a driving force for development and building Ho Chi Minh cultural space.

Accordingly, this idea was mentioned by General Secretary cum State President Nguyen Phu Trong at the meeting on September 3, emphasizing the responsibility and honor of Ho Chi Minh City as the only locality named after the leader called Uncle Ho.

The purpose of building Ho Chi Minh’s cultural space is said for citizens of all ages, all professions and visitors to the largest city in South Vietnam to feel his ideology, morality, style and career every day.

Commenting on the above idea, Musician Le Thieu in Saigon said:

Honestly speaking, bringing Ho Chi Minh’s thoughts to people is up to the leader, I can’t say anything, I have no rights. However, most of the people wanted to worry about people’s lives, especially in the South people who did not care about such things. As for Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan, who is about to retire, he wants to do something to show his gratitude to the party. Personally, I find it meaningless, instead of worrying about the practical things in life, those things are impractical, do not help society.”

According to Dr. Dinh Duc Long, ex-lieutenant colonel of the People’s Army, the given idea is difficult to be implemented in the current situation:

When he was about to finish his term, he promised to be finished, but there was nothing he could do. The upcoming congress will definitely leave him and hand it over to others. Saying so, but there is no basis to be able to confirm the hope that his words will come true. He said that in Ho Chi Minh’s culture, his most uncultured act was stealing General Tran Hung Dao’s incense burner at Bach Dang wharf. He is the one who directs, advocates taking the incense burner to hide elsewhere.”

On February 17, 2019, the censer at General Tran Hung Dao monument at Bach Dang wharf, District 1, Saigon was removed immediately on the occasion of commemoration of the Chinese invasion of North Vietnam. The purpose of relocating the incense burner is considered by many to prevent people from gathering to protest China’s expansionism.

However, a day later, according to Ms. Tran Kim Yen, District 1  Party Secretary when explaining this incident, said they moved the censer house to the Tran Hung Dao temple located on Vo Thi Sau street, Tan Dinh ward for worshiping, offering incense to offer flowers to be carried out more solemnly, in the right place because the park is not a place of worship.

Up to now, the censer has not been brought back to its old place, ie in front of Tran Hung Dao monument at Bach Dang wharf.

To build a cultural space in Ho Chi Minh City, Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan repeated the construction of Ho Chi Minh Square in Thu Thiem New Urban Area after the City Party Committee had just issued a thematic resolution to continue investing in building the area a new town across the river.

Previously, the People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City on October 12, 2019, proposed to name the Central Square and Riverside Park in Thu Thiem New Urban Area as “Ho Chi Minh Square.”

According to the local newspaper, ‘Ho Chi Minh Square’ is expected to be 27 hectares wide, including items such as the national flagpole, the gallery of President Ho Chi Minh, the stilt house and the fish pond, the waterfront park, pedestrian bridge connecting Thu Thiem with District 1.

Thu Thiem New Urban Center Square is said to be the largest square in Vietnam with a total investment capital of nearly VND2 trillion for the project.

This information immediately received mixed opinions at that time, especially when the land compensation for the people cleared was not satisfactorily resolved, lasting for decades.

Inauguration ceremony of the monument of President Ho Chi Minh with the people of Quang Binh

Therefore, when knowing the idea of ​​building Ho Chi Minh cultural space which will include the construction of Ho Chi Minh Square, Mr. Cao Thang Ca, a Thu Thiem resident whose house in the disputed areas, said:

State officials are willing to carry out projects so they can corrupt. This certainly brings nothing to the city, but only for the interests of the state officials who build that square. Currently, people do not want to resolve the Thu Thiem new urban area project, although the General Secretary, the President, the Prime Minister have instructed the Thu Thiem case to be resolved in accordance with the law, but authorities in Ho Chi Minh City have their own laws and they look down on the state, the government, and do whatever they want.”

According to HCM City Party Secretary in an interview with the online newspaper Zing, the city is considering building a 79-episode movie, each episode about an hour for students from grades 2 to 12 to watch, one episode per month and exchange contents like how Mr. Ho Chi Minh was born into a family and country context; what was the school like at home during the teenage years; how did he live during his staying in France; and why is there a book of diary poetry in prison …

Still with regard to education, the city could set up a Young Talent Support and Scholarship Fund named for Mr. Ho Chi Minh.

With previous experience as deputy head of Planning – Project Department and deputy head of Material Department of HTV Television, independent journalist Nguyen Ngoc Gia commented on the plan to release 79 episodes about Mr. Ho Chi Minh to students as follows:

When Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan wants to build a cultural space, I don’t understand what he is planning to build, what culture? I must say that I am amazed when I heard that they have a plan to build up to 79 episodes, each episode is 1 hour long to show to students from grades 2 to 12, I feel funny and ridiculous for the following reasons. Firstly, the 79 episodes I speculate are the age of Ho Chi Minh. However, he immediately showed the void about his identity and background during the time Ho Chi Minh was still alive. Even the year of his birth was ambiguous, obscure, what year he was born. History has been distorted.

Second, they show films based on documentary collections and documentaries about Ho Chi Minh. And a 1-hour documentary that lasted for 79 hours is a fiction. Mr. Nhan did not understand the issue of filmmaking. It was difficult to make feature films, but feature films with communist characters did not attract viewers. I think that if making 79 episodes like that, it will consume a lot of money for the people for the purpose of indoctrination.”

With the ways mentioned by Mr. Nguyen Thien Nhan to build Ho Chi Minh’s cultural space, Mr. Nhan said that if the people and party members of the city have dense access to historical documents about Ho Chi Minh. , often, Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality, style, culture become a very important part of the culture of the people of the city and is the characteristic spiritual strength of the people of the largest south city in this 21st century.”

In my opinion, Musician Le Thieu expressed:

The leaders of the Communist Party of Vietnam always stuff Ho Chi Minh’s morality and ideology into all classes of people. Although Ho Chi Minh himself had no idea what to do with Karl Marx, Lenin, and Mao Zedong, he himself determined that. So he saw that it was meaningless and did not bring any benefit to the society, but it was the propaganda side, Mr. Nhan was that from the direction of the Central Commission for Propaganda and Education to bring all the images and thoughts of Mr. Ho Chi Minh for indoctrination from generation to generation to obey the party, as a tool of the party to easily rule.”

However, journalist Nguyen Ngoc Gia said that the indoctrination of the current Hanoi government leaders no longer works, but even leads to the opposite effect:

Currently information technology is so developed that anyone who is interested can learn, leading to the opposite effect that exposing such lies only overthrows Ho Chi Minh’s image.”

Ho Chi Minh City was formerly known as Saigon with a history of over 300 years and is considered as the Pearl of the Far East. On July 2, 1976, the first National Assembly of Vietnam unanimously decided to change the name Saigon – Gia Dinh city to Ho Chi Minh City, after the President of the first Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

According to information published on Zing online newspaper, after a meeting with the Politburo on September 3, the idea of ​​building a living environment in Ho Chi Minh City into a cultural space in Ho Chi Minh City was absorbed by the city leaders, added to the Document of the 11th City Party Congress, term 2020-2025, under the direction of General Secretary cum State President Nguyen Phu Trong. (Translated)


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